Pot Luck

I should have been wearing Jane parfum a couple days ago. It was a classic Jane moment, the morning of my son Jake’s football banquet, a banquet from 9 am to twelve noon.

I woke up just after 8 am and headed to kitchen to try to wake up. I also realized with banquet in less than an hour I had better prepare the meat dish which is what the ‘G’s’ were assigned, Jake’s last name being Gaskins.

I’d just bought a spiral cut ham so I cut most of the slices off the bone, and then warmed them with a brown sugar glaze. Delicious, yes. My culinary skills continue to astonish me. While ham is warming (I’m sorry, I can’t help but think of Napolean Dynamite’s ‘Tina, eat your ham’ every time I write ham) I encourage the boys in dressing and seeing it’s now nearly 8:30 am tell them to start hurrying, adding, that I don’t even know for sure where the banquet is, but I think–thought–it was in the school cafeteria where the games were played.

As boys dress I search email inbox, find email from three weeks ago about banquet but it only lists the name of a Catholic church. I mapquest Catholic church, discover it’s a half hour drive. I start trying to print the map and computer freezes. Reboot. It’s nearing 8:45 and I’m still not dressed, nor have we directions, nor have we ham.

Map is printing while I fling various articles on clothing on, and various lotions and potions on face. Jake is shouting that we’re going to be late. I’m shouting to fetch ham and get in car. Then I’m shouting to get map from printer. And then shouting for younger son to stop playing with Lego and get shoes and sweatshirt on.

Jake shouts he has ham (Tina!), map and is in car and he needs me in car now to drive as it’s nine and we’re late.

Son Ty has shoes no sweatshirt but he does have a lego cell he’s built. Good. But not great as he’s not ready and not in car.

I realize as I race up, down, up, down stairs looking for keys that I’ve had no coffee yet. Need coffee. Need coffee badly. Find keys buried beneath papers on desk. Race downstairs again and get in car. Shout something about coffee. No time, Jake says, we’re late. Nine o’ five. Late, late, late.

We’re just merging with freeway traffic when I remember, no gas, no gas at all. We can’t go five miles much less twenty-five on my empty tank. Off freeway, to filling station, dropping Jake at coffee stand oppposite end of parking lot. ‘Large nonfat vanilla latte’ I shout. What? he shouts back as cars behind us honk. Large latte, nonfat, vanilla.

I fill car. Grab Jake who has my precious coffee and start to merge with freeway traffic only to realize that pot lucks require you to bring your own plates and silverware. ‘Jake, we’ve no plates or silverware!’

Jake looks at clock. ‘Mom, we’re late. Coach says we can’t ever be late.’

‘Jake, don’t you want to eat your ham?’

We turn around, race to house, I run in and grab plates, and forks, race them to car, hand them to younger son. ‘Hold these, don’t let them break.’

‘We’re just taking them like that?’ Jake asks.

I know. I should have a cute basket for things like this but I never go to pot lucks. Last potluck was probably last decade.

I race back to house, search for basket find a Amazon cardboard box, grab that, race back to car.

Son Ty enquires about knives. We need knives, he says, to cut things. Yes. Run back to house. Shouldn’t be wearing heeled boots. Feet hurt from running. Head hurts because I haven’t had coffee yet. Clock says 9:15 and we’re still a thirty minute drive. Damn, damn, damn pot lucks. And why a three hour pot luck on a Saturday morning?

Drive fast. Very fast. Get to pot luck. Run inside. Jake delivers ham. Everyone pounces on it. I get in back of line with boys. Food is gone by the time we get through line. We didn’t need our plates and silverware. Paper and plastic provided. And there isn�t any food to eat anyway

I hate pot lucks. But I did have my coffee. Kids drank Sunny Delight. And I got to sit at the table with the priest.

I just thank my lucky stars the ham was a hit.